Texas is Wide Open

May 10th, 2020

The phone rang yesterday. It was Hans calling from down in Texas. I was glad that he called. I have been thinking hard about going south to visit with him. I miss him a lot, and I miss his wife, Gabby, and their little boy, Weston. I wanted to ask Hans if it would be a good idea to make the trip. I don’t know what the rules are like in Texas, seeing as every state does its own thing.

I asked him, “How are you?”

Hans drawled, “Welllll, Ahm just waiting for the shit to hit the fan.”

That is never a good start to a conversation.

I replied, “Uh, so what do you mean?”

“Well, they opened up the state a couple days ago, and people here have just gone crazy.”

“How so?”

Hans said, “I went to Academy today to buy some work boots, and hell, I had to park at the back of the lot. The store’s parking lot was full.”

“What were all those people doing?”

“Buying stuff. I went inside and the place had lots of people.”

“Were they keeping distance from each other? Did they have any masks on?”

“Some were trying to keep their distance. I was, but there wasn’t enough room to keep apart. About a quarter of the people had masks. The store owners are supposed to monitor how people are in these places, but they don’t care. They have nobody enforcing the rules.”

“And the State of Texas doesn’t care?”

“Not really.”

Then Hans asked me, “Dad, do you remember that restaurant we went to? Solodak’s in Bryan?”

“Yeah, that was the place with the deep fried bacon. That stuff was kind of nasty.”

Hans verbally shrugged, “That’s what they are famous for.”

(Note: Solodak’s is a family run steak house. They have two locations, one of which is in Bryan, Texas. It’s a carnivore’s paradise. A person can get deep fried anything. My heart hurts just writing about it. Also, the waitresses wear t-shirts with Bible verses written on them. I couldn’t make this up.)

Hans went on, “Well, I went past Solodak’s and the parking lot was full there. It was loaded with Harley’s.”

“So, it was full on the inside too?”

“Well, yeah. The restaurants are supposed to be operating at 25% capacity. These places have blocked off every other booth. That’s more like 50%.”

“So, what’s going to happen?”

“People will act stupid for a couple weeks, and then everything will be locked down again.”


Hans told me that at his work, they were supposed to wear masks.

“When we are out pumping concrete, they want us to wear masks. I do. Some guys don’t. Some of the guys have them hanging down around their necks, or have them up on their hard hats.”

“That doesn’t help much.”


Hans wrapped up the call.

“Well, Dad, I just wanted to let you know how things were going down here. I love you.”

“Yeah, love you too.”

I think I’ll stay home for a bit longer.












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